Lawmakers at the Capitol are considering smoke-free legislation that falls short of fully protecting the public because it only prohibits the use of certain e-cigarettes where smoking is currently prohibited. As a health care professional and Nebraskan, I urge our elected officials to make sure the use of all types of e-cigarettes is prohibited in public places and to raise the age of sale for all tobacco products to 21.

Passing this piece of legislation would be a step toward reducing the public health epidemic we are facing as youths’ use of e-cigarettes is skyrocketing. We need to reduce youth access to these products and denormalize their use by treating them as a tobacco product.

I urge the Legislature to pass this legislation that will protect those who live or work in Nebraska from secondhand exposure to nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes without exemptions and help prevent our youths from starting a lifelong addiction to tobacco.

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